MAKING THE CASE: Brenden Aaronson for BioSteel U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year

Aaronson Earns First Male Player of the Year nod After Leading all USMNT Players in Goal Contributions; Claimed Austrian Double in First Season With Red Bull Salzburg
By: Hydrated by BioSteel

Twenty-one-year-old Brenden Aaronson established himself as a consistent performer for both the U.S. Men’s National Team and Red Bull Salzburg to earn his first nomination for BioSteel U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year.  



Before casting your ballot for U.S. Soccer’s 2021 Player of the Year awards, here’s a rundown of Aaronson’s body of work for country and club this year:


  • The youngest of the six finalists, Aaronson earned 13 caps and led all USMNT players with seven goal contributions, while his four goals and three assists leave him tied for the team lead in both categories.
  • One of just two players to appear in all eight matches, Aaronson has played a crucial role during the USA’s World Cup qualification effort, registering two goals and an assist along the way.




  • He tallied in the 1-1 draw with Canada (Sept. 5), helped spark the comeback and contributed a goal in the 4-1 win at Honduras (Sept. 8) and provided the assist on Ricardo Pepi’s second goal in the 2-0 win against Jamaica (Oct. 7).
  • A member of the Concacaf Nations League championship side, Aaronson registered the assist on Jordan Pefok’s dramatic 90th minute header in the 1-0 semifinal victory against Honduras on June 3.
  • He also scored game-winners in the 4-1 friendly triumph against Jamaica (March 25) and 4-0 win against Costa Rica (June 9).




  • In January, the Medford, N.J. product transferred from hometown club Philadelphia Union to Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian Bundesliga where he has totaled nine goals and nine assists in 47 appearances across all competitions this year.
  • Aaronson made an almost immediate impact when he provided an assist in his second match with the club, a 3-0 win against Ried on Jan. 27.




  • The deft attacker went on to help Salzburg win the Austrian double, scoring in the 3-0 win against LASK Linz in the ÖFB Cup Final on May 1 before helping the club clinch the Austrian Bundesliga title with a 2-0 win against Rapid Vienna on May 12.
  • He started the new season right where he left off, scoring the winners in both of the club’s 2-1 UEFA Champions League qualifying victories against Brøndby and has featured in all five of Salzburg’s group stage matches this year.


This is Aaronson’s first nomination for Male Player of the Year. He was a finalist for Young Male Player of the Year in 2020.